Ficus urnigera, previously considered a variety of the very variable Ficus recurva, one of the most common figs in Borneo.
URN FIG Ficus urnigera Miq (1854) SECTION: RHIZOCLADUS
Latin: Urn (vase) shaped -referring to shape of the fig.
Habit: A root climbing liana closely related to Ficus recurva.
Leaf: As with other Section Rhizocladus root climbing figs, most often encountered in the juvenile phase with the lower bathyphyll (juvenile phase) leaves pressed against a trunk. The acrophyll leaves measure 2-12 cm long by 1 x 6 cm wide and have 3-4 (occasionally 5) pairs of side veins.
Fig: The tiny figs (0.3 -0.5 cm) ripen red. The base is flattened around the ostiole with a low rim as illustrated.
Similar species: F. recurva.
Distinguish: (1) In F. urnigera the hairs on the twigs and leaves are not uncinate (hooked at the top) a distinctive feature of F. recurva, (2) The distinctive shape of the base of the small fig unique to F. urnigera amongst Rhizocladus figs.
Distribution: Leiden Herbarium has 33 Borneo collections mostly from Kinabalu and the hills of Sarawak and Brunei with a few records from the lowlands of Kalimantan.On Kinabalu there are four records from Tenompok (Kinabalu Park HQ), and two from the Mesilau Cave.
Range: Myanmar south to Malaya, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, Philippines.
Taxonomy: In his early writings, J.H.Corner regarded F. urnigera as a variety of F. recurva but in his 1960 monograph he raised it to the status of a separate species. In Berg (2005) F. urnigera was sunk back to the status of a variety of F. recurva. However in Berg (2011) Ficus in Flora of Thailand this fig was again raised to the status of a separate species-the taxonomy we follow here.